The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black

Book - 1986
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Set in Victorian England, Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor in London, is summoned to Crythin Gifford to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, and to sort through her papers before returning to London. It is here that Kipps first sees the woman in black and begins to gain an impression of the mystery surrounding her. From the funeral he travels to Eel Marsh House and sees the woman again, plus he also hears the terrifying sounds of adult and child passengers sinking into the quicksand on a pony and trap. Despite Kipps's experiences he resolves to spend the night at the house and fulfil his professional duty. It is this night at Eel Marsh House that contains the greatest horror for Kipps. Rescued by Mr Daily, a friend he met on the train, Kipps discovers the reasons behind the hauntings at Eel Marsh House. The book ends with tragedy, with the woman in black exacting a final, terrible revenge.
Publisher: Boston : D.R. Godine, 1986, c1983.
ISBN: 9780099562979
Characteristics: 160 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm.


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Nov 01, 2017

Probably one of the best ghost stories I've read thus far.

Nov 01, 2017

I have only ventured into the thriller genre in the past few months. At 44, I decided to challenge myself, avoiding anything gory, and began with books like "The Woman in Cabin 10", "The River at Night" and "The Child finder". To my surprise, nothing really rattled me so based on Goodreads reviews, I chose this one for my Halloween read.

Part of my reluctance has been the categorization of novels. Horror can mean any number of things. I can't stomach Stephen King, for example. So I would call this gothic, perhaps?

It is well written. It pulls you in and awakens your emotions without being too violent or upsetting. I really relished the setting, the characters and the descriptive storytelling. I would recommend it and will look for other titles by Hill. It has a Victorian feel and the components of a true ghost story.

ArapahoeKati Aug 17, 2017

This had all the vibes of an old Victorian mystery--and it hit all the right notes for me. The "reveal" at the end creeped me out!

Jul 19, 2017

Given how well-known this book seems to be (including a theater and film adaptation) I was surprised by how slight it is - better described as a novella and easily read in one sitting. Pulling together all the familiar elements of a ghost story (creepy specter, isolated house, suspicious townsfolk, endless marshlands) Susan Hill presents a straightforwardly spooky tale.
It's fun for a quick and scary read.

Jul 20, 2016

Susan Hill's ghost story is a good one up to a point. For me, she falls down in explaining why the child was being driven away in a carriage at a time when it seemed unsafe to be crossing the causeway. And what the driver? Why did just he escape the accident? Was he just doing a job he was hired to do, or did he have other relationships with the characters he was driving away with. Hill is very good at description. Having been to such houses as described in the story, set on an island which can be reached only at low tide by walking, I had no difficulty in imaging the setting. I could feel the cold moist mist rolling in, the tide coming in, the oozing wet sand, and see the isolated house standing in the midst of it all. I am interested in viewing the DVD to see how this story, with little dialogue but reems of the narrator's thoughts, emotions, and insights, are developed for the movie screen.

Jan 12, 2016

Well, to be honest, I have to wonder if maybe I ruined the book by watching the movie beforehand. Not that the movie was fantastic, mind you, but I think I just kept unconsciously comparing the two in mind. While the book definitely was better than the movie, it was hard to focus as fully on the book as I could have, I believe. Reading some of the many reviews for the Woman in Black I feel like I’m missing something, but… regardless, my review follows as such:

This was a solid piece of work, but nothing amazing. It was not memorable, the prose was not fantastic, but it was a pleasant way to spend a few hours. Arthur Kipps is a drab fellow, but I did admire his determination. There were scenes that were undoubtedly creepy (especially at the end), but nothing was particularly memorable.

The ending surprised me, since the movie re-orders certain events, and I had thought that perhaps the movie had just invented a rather large piece of the story, but no.. suddenly in the last chapter, that piece materializes. As stated, the movie plays it differently, but both have their advantages. I can’t say one is better than the other in terms of ending.

I doubt I will ever re-read this book, but I will say the book was better than the movie. (Though, honestly, if you’re reading book reviews online, you’re surely not surprised by that assessment!)

Oct 18, 2015

Don't be fooled by the cover, this isn't a Harry Potter book! English author Susan Hill continues the Victorian Gothic tradition with subtle and creepy results. The title is a play on the Wilkie Collins novel "The Woman is White" and astute readers will recognize one of the chapter titles, "Whistle and I'll Come to You," as a reference to a spooky M.R. James ghost story. Made into a film with Harry Potter.

lizzietish81 Sep 01, 2015

I read this room mostly in a brightly lit room full of people and I will still shaken and creeped out.

Dec 26, 2014

I liked it. Short. Some grammatical errors. Hard to put down, since the entire book is leading up to something.

Nov 09, 2014

Using vivid and powerful descriptions, Susan Hill creates a sinister house and a horrifying ghost that consistently push Arthur Kipps to his limit. Moreover, the environment and the illustrations are so haunting; they pull the readers inside the cursed house.

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Dec 26, 2014

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Jan 10, 2012

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